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Forecasting the weather the past week has been like herding cats, darn near impossible. There have been so many mesoscale details contingent on storms and their development (or lack there of) that right out of the gate I was at a disadvantage. Throw in the fact models have been struggling determining trends and your down to pattern recognition which in recent days has been like rolling the dice.

It's been so tuff on the weather trail that I've resorted to wearing a cowboy hat for good luck. It ain't helped much partner!

Thursday was a real bust thanks to a batch of storms which formed in my far southern counties overnight and lingered into the afternoon. Reports of 1-2" rains were common down that way. Some models indicated the potential so that was not a complete surprise but the storms were expected to dissipate early and be followed by sunshine. Instead, you can see clouds were still hanging tough well into late afternoon. (what we call convective debris).

So instead of highs near 90 as was anticipated, readings at 4:00 PM in my central and southern counties were only in the 70s...low 70s in the far south where the rain played around much of the day.

These are precipitation totals as of 9:00am Thursday. Doppler estimates indicate some areas may have gotten up to 4 inches considering what fell on top of that.

Anyway, the story of the bust is not over as the clouds and cool temperatures limited instability which was expected to be significant, much like in previous days. Had the instability been in place, late afternoon and evening thunderstorm chances would have been enhanced along a cold front that was advancing through the area. Instead, only a few isolated storms popped which quickly fizzled after sunset. Overall, it was just a bad day to be a forecaster. Nothing I can do about it now but tuck my hat on tight and get back on the saddle. Momma told me there'd be days like this. Surely there's a country song that applies to my situation!

Anyway, the sensible weather should be far easier to predict in coming days as high pressure puts an end to the issue of mesoscale details associated with convection. I'll be herding cows instead of cats!

Even as I write this, dew points have plunged into the 40s in Minnesota as a fall like air mass gets set to move into the central Midwest over the weekend. By 7:00 AM Friday the 3k NAM indicates dew points in my central and northern counties will be down in the 50s and may be as low as 48 near Waterloo and points north and west. That is a huge and welcome change from the 80 degree dew point measured in the Quad Cities earlier in the week

With the dry air and light winds in place under a ridge Saturday morning, lows are expected to dip into the 50s in all but the far south. Notice all the 40s that are found in the valley's of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I hate to say it but the shorter days are taking their toll and summer's leash is getting shorter by the day.

At least for now we are expecting fine weather with mild days and pleasantly cool nights Friday through Monday. Highs will generally be in the low 80s and lows in the 50s and low 60s with plenty of sunshine. Beautiful stuff!

As for any meaningful rain, I don't see that in the forecast until next Wednesday at the earliest. A big reason why is a lack of moisture. Notice what happens with the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Thursday PWATS were over 2 inches in my SE counties.

Saturday morning we're down around 1/2 inch. Say bye bye humidity for several days. That also means bye bye rain chances.

Here's the rainfall departures over the next 10 days in the EURO. Not what you want to see if you are in need of rain.

Before I go, I indicated a week ago that chances for significant rain were on the table for last weekend into the middle of the coming week (which is now past). I wasn't completely wrong as my northern and southern counties all experienced 1-3 inch totals with some places closer to 5 inches. Unfortunately for my central counties, especially those in Iowa where rain is desperately needed little if any fell. Below on the left you can see the 7 day rain amounts and on the right the departures over that period. A pretty stark contrast.

With that, I shall feed the horse and head for the bunk. Herding cats has me pooped out. Happy Friday and roll weather cowpokes....TS


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